The recent ghastly murder of young man in Miryalaguda of Nalgonda district (Telangana) has once again proven that the scrouge of caste based racism still has its vice like grip on our society. This remorseless thought process of entitlement and percieved distinctions of superior and inferior castes has once again snuffed the light out of a bright young man.
It was a deja vu moment for me when I realised how closely ‘reel mimcs real and real copies reel’. The ghastly incident reminded me of the immensely popular Marathi movie named ‘Sairat’ which was later contorted and distorted into a Hindi potboiler called Dhadak.
The plot line of the movie Sairat revolves around an upper caste girl who falls in love with a Dalit boy (a daring story to tell in these days of masala films where caste distinctions are brushed aside and barely acknowledged).
I prefer the word ‘dalit’ to the ministry mandated scheduled caste / scheduled tribes as it actually means ‘oppressed’ rather than referring to the schedule of the constitution listing out the so called untouchable classes. But I digress .
When the boy is caught in the act of making out with his girl friend he gets promptly beaten black and blue with in an inch of death. The young lovers then somehow manage to escape from the clutches of the feudal landlord and his private army of goons. The story now moves swiftly from the sugar cane hinterland of Maharastra to the info tech city of Hyderabad.
The young couple show immense courage in face of hardships and despite initial doubts actually manage to over come odds and settle down very well with both of them making a decent living. The young couple are blessed with a child making the family complete.
Now for the twist . The patriarch gets wind of the young couple’s whereabouts in Hyderabad. His nephew is immediately despatched with his army of goons ostensibly for a rapprochement and to assure the girl that all is forgotten . They show up at the door with sweet boxes and fruit baskets and assorted gifts for the kid. As the girl is busy inside the kitchen preparing tea for the guests ecstatic with joy at the prospect of reunion and the boy gets busy arranging snack plates , the monsters strike down the young couple with machettes and swords leaving their months old baby orphaned bringing the movie to a tragic end.
In the reel life the young couple escape from a village in Maharastra caught in a time warp to the supposed cosmopolitan big city of Hyderabad . Ironically the real life place of Miryalaguda where this ghastly actual murder took place is the backyard of Hyderabad just about a hundred kilometres away. Its a small town in Nalgonda district which was till recently infamous for flouride poisoning of its underground water resources. The flouride laced water was dangerous for human consumption which corroded and distorted bones leaving people permanently physically handicapped. Sustained governmental efforts and efforts of NGOs against flouride poisoning bore fruit which led to drastic reduction in deformities arising out of flouride poisoning.
Seems unfortunately no government or NGO could stem the corrosion of minds filled with caste filth. This semi feudal town gave birth to a petty landlord who bore hatred against the untouchable doing the unthinkable act of falling in love with his daughter. He chose to give supari to a hired mercenary resulting in gruesome death of a promising young man. A man whose only fault was falling in love with an upper caste girl. So many stories that abound now say that the young was incorruptible in face of huge sums offered by the girl’s father to leave his daughter.
All that idealism has evaporated with a single stroke when the mrecenary’s machete struck him down in broad day light……Real meets reel in its gory detail.
It casts serious doubts on our ethos which takes pride in preening our feathers and strutting about cockily. A nationalist thought which prides itself in ancient wisdom and culture. A nation which aspires to be the world guru or rather has egotistically appropriated itself of the world guru title
I cringe at the prospect of teaching the world our ‘real values’ . The value of dividing populations on the basis of one’s station at birth. The value of dividing societies on the basis of ancestral occupation . The value of rewarding idleness of the preaching classes by according them the highest pedestal next only to God, The value of terming The dark skinned as Rakshasas and fair skinned as the rulers / Gods. I loathe at the idea of Brahmanical thought taking root and dividing the world’s populations into water tight compartments where love beyond one’s station results in murder and mayhem.
We have once again proven to the world that we are incapable of rising above regressive sectarian segregation.
Liaquath Mirza is one who is taking baby steps in the writing arena. He is currently in between many things from learning crafts to crafting opinion on all things affecting humankind. He thinks of himself as a free thinker unfettered by dogma.